WGN Morning News

Dean’s Recipe for: Pastitsio

WGN Morning News crew is sharing their favorite holiday recipe with us

  • 1 lb. #43 Penne pasta
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb ground beef – 80% lean
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 shot cognac
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta al dente; drain, add olive oil to lightly coat and return to pan. Do not overcook

Stir in the melted butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup milk, and the egg; set aside.

In a skillet or large saucepan, cook ground beef and onion until meat loses its pinkness and onion is soft; drain excess fat.

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, water, cognac, salt, mint flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper; set aside.

Cook down until liquids are nearly gone and flavor is enhanced.

Cool and mix the meat mixture with the pasta.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, then mix in flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Slowly stir in the 2 cups milk, stirring well after each addition so that no lumps form.

Cook and stir on medium high until cream sauce starts to thicken; stir for one minute more, then remove from heat.

Beat egg in a small bowl, then pour into cream sauce, stirring briskly.

Blend in the 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.

Layer 1/3 the pasta/meat mixture in an 11″ x 7″ baking or lasagna dish.

Top evenly with grated parmesan cheese

Repeat with the 2nd and 3rd layer of mixture.

Pour cream sauce over top, to cover completely.

Add one more layer of parmesan,  bread crumbs and dot evenly with butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until hot and lightly browned.

Let stand for 10 minutes.


10 Comments to “Dean’s Recipe for: Pastitsio”

    Howard Jerz said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    come on where is the list of ingrediancs.

    Michael Hanrahan said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    How do I get the recipe???

    Jeff said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    We're doing this recipe. Your mom (more Mom, please! She's adorable and very pretty), I think we'll use lamb. Thanks for a really great recipe. I can't wait. MMMmmmmmmmmm….

    Connie Janssen said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I agree with Howard and Michael–where the heck is the recipe??????????????????

    Judith Hickey said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Disappointed the recipe is not posted.

    Jo Ann Plesic said:
    December 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    How do I get the actual recipe that you refer to in the video. I need a list of ingredients

    Linda said:
    December 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I would like to make this tonight, but where is it?

    Judith Hickey said:
    December 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Thank you Dean for sharing this. My family recipe for pastitsio uses FILO pastry instead of the white sauce and so I am anxious to try something different. I enjoy listening to you on WGN radio..always an interesting show.

    Stuart Washington said:
    December 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I have had a love affair with pastitsio since My parents first took my family to Diana's Oopa in Greek town. He started making it at home and it became a bigger favorite. Can't wait to try this one.

    Mary Waldron said:
    December 26, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Dean – I thought I heard you mention Allspice in the recipe but I don't see it listed as an ingredient – I have to say it looked fabulous on TV and so did you and your Mom – we had great fun watching the clip yesterday – it brought back so many memories. Was the Allspice accidentally omitted? Happy Holidays to all!

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